AbstractLightning-related fatalities in Romania are analyzed and presented for the first time using data from the Romanian National Institute of Statistics. The database contains 724 lightning fatalities that occurred between 1999 and 2015 in Romania, corresponding to an average of 42.6 fatalities per year. The annual number of lightning fatalities decreased from 65 fatalities per year between 1999 and 2003 to 23.2 fatalities per year between 2011 and 2015. The majority of fatalities occurred in May–August (42% of all fatalities) with a peak in June (31%) and July (28%). The highest fatality rates (>2.6 fatalities per million inhabitants per year) are observed over southwestern Romania, a region characterized by high values of cloud-to-ground lightning density (>2 flashes per square kilometer per year) and by a relatively high percentage (>40%) of the population living in rural areas. The majority of fatalities (78%) were reported in rural areas. Approximately 78% of the victims were male. The most vulnerable group was males between the ages of 10–39 living in rural areas. To further reduce the lightning fatality rate in Romania, currently one of the highest in Europe, the authors argue that lightning mitigation activities and information campaigns about the risks associated with lightning should be initiated in Romania.
Weather, Climate, and Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Apr 23, 2018
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